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This is one of the greatest inventions that I have discovered in my very short life. It is absolutely amazing and I am in love with using it. This is the perfect modelling clay for anyone over the age of 5 and there is such a range of colours within this product. The price is relatively competitive, with bumper packs available online on websites such as amazon, however it is also available in stored such as Hobbycraft if you are looking for a specific colour then this is probably the better option as the colours online are not always the same as the one that they send you.
It is very pliable and works well to produce very fiddly models or very bold models, dependent on your preferences. Fimo can keep you entertained for hours and there is no limit to what models you can produce. Unfortunately it drys out ridiculously quickly unless it is kept in a sealed bag in a sealed container and even then it is not guaranteed to remain soft. Even when the fimo has appeared to have dried out, it is still useable once you have worked it for a few minutes.
Fimo comes in many different ranges such as fimo soft and eraser clay, however the eraser clay is not worth buying. Fimo can keep anyone entertained for hours on end and I find that it takes me over 2 hours to make one model so often spend a day just making fimo models.
To harden, the fimo should be placed on a tile in the oven at 180 degrees for half an hour before it is removed to cool down. DO NOT touch before it has cooled as obviously it will burn, but it will still be soft at this point so you may ruin it by touching it.
We have a rather large and eclectic collection of craft stuffs and Fimo features often in rainy day making sessions. It's a polymer clay that can be moulded and then cooked in the oven at 110 degrees centigrade for thirty minutes until it becomes hard.
Fimo comes in a whole rainbow of colours and is sold in 56g packs and sets. We find the Fimo Soft the most easy to manipulate though we also have some Fimo Classic which is slightly harder but makes more solid models, and Fimo Effects are fun too - the glitter in it is quite effective (although you could just add your own to regular clay) but by far out favourite is the glow in the dark clay which works really well. Whatever clay type you use what is great about Fimo is that it can be mixed together to make a marbled effect or mixed thoroughly to make a new colour. This works well for making smaller items like beads or pencil toppers. What you can make really is only limited by your imagination, and if this fails then the Internet is a great source of imagination. We do find,however, that larger models are more prone to having bits fall off, so "keep it small" is our mantra. The kids have produced some surprisingly good animals and, most recently their own " moshlings" following the latest craze. The clay is relatively easy to mould into the desired shape, although even the soft clay needs quite a bit of warming up by kneading and rolling.
Price wise you can expect to pay about £2.29 per small packet, it can be slightly cheaper to get a set, and we recently stocked up when Staples had packets for a pound a go. Actually a small packet goes a long way, the only thing I find with this is that however much I ask the kids to be careful when they are in full creative flow small bits end up all over the floor, so this is one activity best done where it won't matter if bits end up on the surfaces. The clay can also be overcooked and burn, and due to its nature I wouldn't cook it with foods but in general the results are good and true to the colur of the raw clay.
Fimo isn't a new or radically different craft idea but it' a classic that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike and it is, I think far better than some of the newer and more fussy craft offerings like " flubber" or most recently mouldable chocolate ...a daft idea if ever there was one. You can't go wrong with Fimo, it's an ideal stocking filler and boredom buster that gets everyone making for a relatively small cost. Highly recommended.
I first became aware of Fimo when I was in my teens. A friend and I were really into making things and discovered it, we would go to each other's houses to make Fimo items, very often Fimo jewellery. Then about 6 years ago I bought some Fimo for an art project I was working on and made a large replica of a pollen grain from a scientist friend's microscope image.
Fimo is really fun. It is a bit like plasticine in its uncooked state and you can do everything you can do with plasticine as regards to moulding and building only after, it is possible to cook it as it becomes a permanent shape. Fimo also has a much nicer smell than plasticine, which to me smells disgusting, Fimo has a slight sweet scent.
Fimo comes in square "lumps" of about 4 x 4 x 1 cm. it is available in a vast amount of colours including fluorescent versions. It is possible to make gold and silver Fimo too, although you need to add some gold or silver powder to the ordinary Fimo to do this. Nowadays there is a greater range of metallic powders available. When I made my giant pollen grain I used red, yellow and green, and it is easy to mould the colours into each other so a flat surface is achieved but not so you end up with mixed-up colours.
On opening a new pack of Fimo, or going back to Fimo you haven't worked on in a few hours it is quite hard and I would warm it up in my hands before starting to work with it by moulding it between my fingers to make it soft and more adaptable. When fixing one piece of Fimo to another you need to make sure that they are well moulded together otherwise the different parts will fall off when you bake them.
In the past, when I was a teenager, I made things like beads and would create pretty marble effects from mixing several Fimo colours together. Once I even decorated a plain white clock with leaves and flowers I made entirely from Fimo! Also, Fimo doesnt seem to go off, I have some left over from making my pollen grain and six yesrs or so later and still it seems to be ok.
After making my Fimo objects they would need cooking, which I do in an ordinary cooker for 30 minutes, on a baking tray at around 100 degree Celsius. The Fimo is very hot when it comes out of the oven, but after it had cooled off sometimes I would coat it with a clear varnish which Fimo also make if I wanted a glossy finish to my piece. It is also possible to paint Fimo after baking with enamel paints.
Once baked Fimo can be sanded down and even cut into slices, although one would need to be careful of fingers as it is quite dense once cooked. It is also possible to drill holes in it, which is useful if making beads, I used to get my Father to do this for me though!
Fimo is made by Staedtler, a German brand and is made from polymer clay. It does contain PVC and there is some concern as to how safe it is, although it would only become unsafe if you used it a lot. I haven't given it to my children to use, not only for this reason but also because it's quite expensive and they aren't old enough to make effective use of it. Some colours do tend to come off onto my fingers, I always found the green to be particularly bad, but it washes off quite easily with soap and water.
Fimo costs about £2 per "lump", however it is possible to buy it in sets which work out much cheaper. You can use clay/playdoh/plasticine modelling tools, but I found that old kitchen implements along with my fingers work just as well. I think it's a good craft for teenagers, especially teenage girls to play with, but for anyone who is into mixed media art it can add an interesting dimension to one's works too.
Fimo has been around for many years; in fact since the 1970's. I used to play with it all the same as a child and as an adult I used it to make bits and bobs to decorate cards and make them look a bit different. You can buy it at craft shops and although it is not the cheapest of things, you can have some fun with it and create models or as I have done, make flat models to stick on cards.
==Price and availability==
The cost of a starter set which includes 10 colours will cost around £11. Each block is 25 g and you can buy them separately for around £1.80. Craft shops or even Toys R Us are the best bet for items such as this.
The little blocks come in a cellophane wrapper. It is soft and mouldable like play-doh but a little harder. The fimo colours are really vivid and you can really go to town on your models but blending two colours together. The clay gets more mouldable the longer you have it in your hands and keep it warm. Once you have created your masterpiece you need to pop it in the oven, this takes out all the moisture and you are left with a hard model to varnish. You can use Fimo varnish or buy a different brand.
As a child, I hade some lovely little models and really enjoyed being creative and doing something different to just painting and colouring. You can make the clay into colourful beads and as long as you leave a hole in the bead, once dry, you can sting it up and have your own individual jewellery piece.
My most recent exploration with this unusual medium was to make flat little cats and dogs and stick them to the front of homemade cards to make them individual and personal.
The clay is so easy to work with and what I did was roll out a flat piece of pink clay mixed with a little yellow so it created a mixture of colours and swirls as the two colours met. I then rolled out a smaller circle of pink clay and added cheeks, ears and eyes. I set the head on top of the body, added little feet and a tail and placed it on a baking tray. Once dry, I varnished it and using craft glue stuck a magnet on to the back. I placed this on front of the card and using another magnet inside the card, the cat was held on. On the front of a card I had a birthday message written on. The cat was now a magnet so my friend could remove it from the card and stick it on to her fridge! A present and a card all in one! I love this medium and I recommend it for adults and children alike.
Fimo modelling clay is the best invention I have found recently. It can be used from the age of 8, but I'm using it in my jewellery business and I'm not a child anymore.
It can be kneaded, shaped, stamped, sculptured, etc, only your imagination is the limit.
There are plenty bright colours available, but you can mix the colours as well to create even more. Some has some glittery or shiny effect (they are called FIMO EFFECT).
After your creature is ready you can fire it in the oven, so it doesn't need any special equipment.
I love working with it as it gives me plenty of freedom to create my unique beads and charms.
Each block has lines to help you to cut exactly the same amount from them, which is a really good feature.
Once you open a block from its nylon packaging be careful not to put the remaining fimo near anything plastic as it can distroy the plastic and the fimo will be sticky afterwards. It's better to store it in metal or glass jar.
Fimo is a type of modelling clay / putty that can be cooked in the oven at home and used to make permanent structures. If you go to a local craft fair especially around Christmastime, there'll inevitably be someone there who's selling swirly-patterned beads / jewellery / brooches / key-rings that they've made out of Fimo and home-fired (usually it has to be acknowledged, without notable aesthetic success, which is very sad for everyone concerned. Just be thankful, I'd say, that you're not related to one of these craft-producing yo-yos or you know what you'll be finding in your Christmas stocking year after year after year).
The price of these craft-fayre Fimo gew-gaws is usually on the steep side, for Fimo as a modelling material doesn't come cheap. You get a 56g block - that's about the same volume as a cardboard packet of 'Knorr' stock cubes (although it comes in a thicker, less elongate shape) - for around the £1.50 mark. This might not sound much, but consider that you'll likely need many blocks of different colours of Fimo - and it is available in literally, a whole rainbow range of colours - to make anything interesting, and the cost soon mounts up. One of the Fimo starter packs that you can buy eg. at amazon.co.uk, for example, gives you nine different colours but in half-size (ie. 25g) blocks and that has an RRP of a whopping £17! (Though admittedly, this particular kit is currently selling for substantially less than the RRP).
On the other hand, I used to enjoy making things out of (a limited colour selection of) blocks of Fimo back in the early 1980s when I was a kid (Fimo has apparently been on the market since around 1979) and although the design on the clear plastic packaging has changed slightly, the blocks themselves are effectively exactly the same today, as they were then, around 25 years ago. 25 years ago your basic Fimo block cost around 85p so it has to be said that in terms of inflation, they've not increased in price nearly as much as they might have done since then.
Fimo's advantages are that it's very easy to work with - texturally it's quite like Plasticine. It is readily malleable and easily mouldable into a range of shapes , holding its shape well without sagging or 'running'. You can join two pieces of Fimo just by pressing them firmly together (you don't need to 'key 'then blend the surface like you do with ceramic clay). This is an advantage when kids are working with it, because you fire the results of their crafting labours 'as is' (and, if any pieces happen to fall off through being inadequately stuck together initially, you can reattach them with glue after firing the piece). Fimo can also be smoothed on the surface easily and unlike those brick-shaped air-drying blocks of 'ceramic-look' clay you can buy in hobby shops, it's very easy to work with.
We got some teeny-weeny mini-packs of Fimo included with a different craft kit recently, and it was a pleasure to work with them. They bake solid / long-lasting in a low oven in just a couple of hours, and can be varnished to a high-gloss surface using bespoke 'Fimo' varnish (in the 1980s I used to varnish the bits and bobs I'd made with ordinary clear nail polish, and it went on a bit too thickly but worked fairly well too).
This is a great modelling material for kids especially if you want to keep some of their smaller craft efforts long-term. Bear in mind is recommended for sprogs eight years and up, however. The bright colours of Fimo make it an excellent material for kids to work in and the stuff the produce it has to be said, is generally streaks ahead of any Fimo jewellery made by adults that you're likely to see at craft fayre near you....
---What is Fimo---
Fimo is a polymer modelling clay which can be moulded into different objects, shapes, trinkets, jewellery etc. When you have created your item, it is then cooked in the oven where it sets hard. The item can then be glazed (if desired).
---What types are available?---
Fimo modelling clay comes in 2 main types - 'Classic' and 'Soft'. The Classic type has been sold for years and is harder to make pliable than the newer Soft type of Fimo. Both types are available in a huge range of colours and special types of Fimo, such as metallic, glittery and UV. As well as the colours available, you can blend different colours of Fimo together to make your own shades (this is a good idea if you are low on funds as a large selection of colours can be quite expensive). The Fimo is usually sold in small blocks, but can also be found in smaller and larger sizes, as well as selection packs with a range of colours. The individual blocks are wrapped in plastic.
As well as the clay itself, a wide range of accessories are available, including glazing, tools, cutters, mats, shapers and bead rollers. These can be quite pricey, but do enhance your Fimo experience! However, this review is for Fimo itself, so I won't digress into these accessories any further.
---How does it work?---
Once you have opened the packet, pieces of Fimo can be broken off and then they need to be softened up before shaped or modelled. With the new Soft Fimo, this is a fairly easy process, where you just kneed the Fimo between your fingers, or on a mat or tray for a few minutes (the smaller the size, the easier this is). I remember spending ages doing this as a teenager, as the Fimo was very crumbly. However, I have recently purchased both Soft and Classic Fimo and both types are now relatively easy to work until softened, so perhaps the formula for Classic Fimo has altered in the intervening years.
You can then shape the Fimo to your own unique creation (I'll suggest some ideas later). You can do this using different colours and types of Fimo, either free-hand or using a Fimo accessory.
The Fimo objects are then baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 110 degrees. Do watch out for the time though, as you can burn the Fimo which doesn't smell nice.
Once baked, your Fimo object can be put to whatever purpose you intended it for - e.g. a decorative object, bead for jewellery making, doll. There are a number of finishes that you can use. It is common to varnish an item, but they could also be dipped in dye or left natural. The finished product is generally quite tough and can usually withstand a few knocks (unless it is very intricate or delicate model) so can be kept for years to come.
---What can you do with it and who does it appeal to?---
The biggest advantage of Fimo is its broad appeal. It is suitable for use by young children (supervised of course) who have graduated from making Playdoh and Plasticine shapes. Compared to these forms of modelling clay, Fimo can be hardened and kept, which allows children (and parents) to have a record of their creativity. Fimo also appeals to teenagers and adults. As a teenager, I remember one rainy Sunday afternoon when me and a (mixed sex) group of teenage friends made models of all the members of Blur - happy days! As an adult, I enjoy using Fimo to make beads and charms primarily. I've made 'freehand' beads which have quite a rustic look to them and more even beads using a bead roller. I've also started to make Fimo charms and have had some success with cupcake charms (with wire attachments baked into the Fimo).
The good thing about Fimo is that you can really unlock your imagination. You can make beads, pendants, charms, small models, dolls, dolls-house accessories, model cars - the sky's the limit! I even once made a candle holder.
There are many ideas available online and video demonstrations on YouTube if you have a creative block - the video demonstrations are also useful if you're not sure how to do something.
---How much does it cost?---
On first glance, Fimo appears to be a cheap product. I recently bought some clay from my local craft shop for £1.60 a packet (looking online it is available cheaper). However, this is just for one packet in one colour. I actually ended up spending over a tenner on a variety of different colours. I then went back a week later and bought lots more colours (another tenner). I went back the following day and bought a bead roller (almost another tenner). Therefore, for the results I wanted, I spent over £30. So it starts to stack up, price-wise. That is without buying any varnish, glaze or other tools, as I just raided my toolbox for these.
So, whilst relatively cheap to start off with, you can spend a lot of money on Fimo.
As well as having the potential to be a pricey hobby, there are a few pitfalls which you should be aware of. The first is that it can be quite time-consuming. This is no problem if you are using the Fimo to absorb young children for a couple of hours of fun. However, if you are impatient or a perfectionist (like me) it can be quite frustrating when after an hour of modelling, you've only made 5 beads and you need 20.
Secondly, the plastic packets that the Fimo is stored in are destroyed to get at the Fimo. So, to preserve the softness you need to wrap up remaining Fimo before storing it. This can be quite annoying and fiddly - I once forgot and just shoved it in a cupboard. Coming back to the Fimo a few months later, it had dried out and was very brittle. Although it could be re-worked back to soft at this point, if I'd left it any longer it would be have been ruined. Also, once brittle and dry it takes quite a long time to work to softness. I now store my Fimo in an air-tight tin, which helps with the problem. There is a shelf-life to Fimo. I'm not sure how long lasts for, but I would imagine that after a year, the Fimo will not really be workable.
It can be difficult to take apart Fimo models if you have gone wrong or made a mistake, although if you are careful, this can be done (before cooking, obviously). Once cooked, you're stuck with it! It can also be quite fiddly to work which again can be frustrating if you are an impatient person.
To summarise, I really love this product. It appeals to both sexes (somewhat) and to adults and children alike, so you can join in the fun if you buy some for your children. It is a versatile product with limitless possibilities. There are a few pitfalls and it can be expensive (if you use it a lot). However, it is such a nice and creative product, that these disadvantages do not knock a star off from me.
Also published on Ciao
Fimo is one of the best known and most respected modelling materials in the world and for good reason. It's widely available from places such as Hobbycraft and ebay and comes in a massive range of colours and finishes. It's recommended for anyone age 8 and above.
It's similar to Play Doh but without the smell of marzipan (this is both a positive and a negative depending on whether you like the smell of marzipan, I guess!) and it can be hardened. This expands its uses greatly. I tend to use it to make miniature food for dolls houses, but in the past I've used it for jewellery, models and door plaques. I once did a whole speech in my English class about the animals that I'd made. None of them were as red as my face though...
It's available in various forms. There are large packs of different colours which are good value if you're going to use all the colours (although I've still got some full packs of colours from a multipack that I've never used) and there are also little starter packs, which tend to have the specific colours and quantities needed for the picture on the pack. These are good for children and come with instructions on how to make the models on the pack (such as dinosaurs, sheep and pigs).
Fimo also comes in blocks of single colours at about £1.30 each and are widely available. There's practically every colour you can think of and the blocks are available in various finishes such as transparent, glittery and porcelain (mainly for making dolls). The latter is also available as a larger block.
Fimo can be quite difficult to knead when you first start to use it. There is a block of softener that can be bought which makes it easier. If you're buying Fimo for a child, it's worth buying one of these to start off with. Once it's been kneaded through, it's easy to use and it can be mixed with other colours and shaped into whatever you want.
Once your model is done, you bake the Fimo for about 30 minutes in an oven at 110 degrees. I always keep an eye on it whilst it's in the oven, as depending on the thinness of the elements of your model, it can burn slightly. Other than this rare occurrence, the Fimo stays the same colour after baking. If you're making something particularly complex, you can rebake the Fimo. An example of this is making a vase of flowers. I bake the stems first, then they won't droop when I add the Fimo flowers on the end of them.
Once the Fimo is baked, it can then be cut, filed, drilled, chopped etc. A good example of this is the technique of 'caning' which is like making a bar of rock but with something like a lemon running through it. Once cooked, it can then be very finely sliced, leaving slices of realistic-looking lemon, just like you'd find in your glass of Coke!
Fimo is great for both budding and experienced model-makers, although it can be quite expensive, in my opinion it's worth the initial outlay.
Fimo is a wonderful modelling medium and can be used by children probably about 8 years and upwards and by adults alike.
This clay stays wonderfully soft and can be reworked for a long as possible, which is great if you have children who are perfectionists or who keep changing their mind what they want to make. When they are satisfied with the results you simply pop it in the oven and let it harden.
There are some really fantastic colours you can get in this clay - everything from bright fluorescent colours to clean primary colours. The other good thing about this clay is that you can blend it together to get the right colour in the same way as mixing paint. This means that you can buy a very basic set of colours but still have lots of variations.
I used to make lots of earrings out of this material because once it is fired it is really light and the colours are really bright and funky. My favourite pair were a set of Bertie Basset ones - but I've been told I have to grow up now I've passed my fourth decade!!!
You can get a small 56g piece of clay for about £1.40 but the best way to start would be to buy a starter kit which usually contains a selection of clay and some ideas for starting for about £10 - these come in lots of themes - have a look on the web or pop into your local craft store.
This is a great clay with which you can make almost any imaginable novelty such as Christmas tree decorations, figurines, pendants or other jewellery crafts to stick onto ring bases or hair clips etc.
As well as being very soft and maleable, it comes pre-coloured so there's no messy painting afterwards (which would probably roughen the finish). It is worth investing in a hand-held moulding tool, found in good arts and crafts shops: preferably a piece of wood about the size of a pencil, with a curved end that is flattened on one side. This will enable you to smooth or flatten the surface much more acurately than you can with even the steadiest of fingers.
While you are moulding it, Fimo has a slight sheen to it, but once baked in the oven this disappears to leave a very matt finish. If you have a fairly small oven and your creations are not particularly large, I would recommend setting the heat to slightly lower than it says on the packet - say, 75 degrees rather than 110 - and taking them out after about 20 minutes, as smaller or thinner areas can dry out and crack if too much heat is applied. It is worth bearing in mind that some of the hardening process occurs during the cooling off period (and you can always pop them back in the oven if you find they're not quite done).
If you want to add a gloss afterwards, DO NOT use standard, oil-based varnishes on this clay: you must either use Fimo's own dedicated varnish or another water-based varnish which can be obtained from a specialist art shop. Also, be wary of stationers or craft shops who may advise you to use a water-based glue to achieve a gloss finish - this does not work, and the glue will peel off! Another tip is that varnish can react with superglue if it's applied too soon afterwards, causing a white mark. I have not experimented with how soon after gluing you can apply varnish, but I have not had any problems since leaving several hours between the different applications.
At £1.65 for a small block, Fimo is reasonably priced, especially if you are making small items. Sometimes it can be a bit frustrating if you can't find a particular colour you would like to use, but it's such a fun product that it's almost worth being "forced" to be more creative with what you've got.
What is it?
FIMO is a plasticene like polymer clay which is really easy to work and model with, it's made by a German company called Eberhard Faber its origins go back as far as the 1930s when it was called Fifi's modelling clay supposedly, but was later reduced down to FIMO by Ebherhard Faber. It comes in an extremely large range of colours including the basic colours such as black, white red and yellow as well as some more exotic colours including cherry red, leaf green and emerald.
It has a soft composition when you take it out of the packet and becomes solid permanently if you bake it in the oven for 30 mins at 110 degrees. I would recommend that you purchase the special varnish for it also as it makes your models virtually indestructible and shiny.
Where do you get it? How much does it cost?
Well me personally, I spend most of my dooyoo miles on this stuff primarily from amazon.co.uk. The single packets of 63 grams costs £1.40, the smaller blocks which comes in special packets of 4 different colours cost £3.75, the packets of 24 booster pack costs £19.99 and the basic booster sets with 9 colours, a cutter and varnish costs £10.95. There is an addition of postage and packaging on these prices however so sometimes I go just directly to a craft shop to get supplies as it works out a good 10p cheaper per packet if you only want specific colours not just the basics. You can probably also get it for similar prices on ebay.co.uk and other online craft shops.
What can you make with it?
Well me personally, I make badges and phone charms for anime and video game conventions some of which can be seen on my profile photo, or if you want to see more view my deviant art.com profile I have the same user name. These include characters such as Mario mushrooms, pacman ghosts and fire flowers. I also made some daisy themed necklaces and bracelets for gifts for my friends. You can also roll beads for bracelets and necklaces also and the beauty about this stuff is that you can mix colours together to make a really pretty marble effect or just mix colours together to make a whole new colour together entirely which is really handy if you have loads of blue and yellow and you run out of green. You can simply use it to keep your kids models permanently also though it's recommended for over 8 years as consuming large amounts of the clay can make you ill.
My personal experience
One of the best things ever invented, clay which is already coloured? That's genius! It definitely speeds up my production rate for fan art at the artists ally at conventions. The material if it's over exposed or handled too much can lose its properties though, If it's too old it can become quite crumbly and is hard to work with and if you work it too much with your hands it can become really squishy and can get stuck under your finger nails and on clothes or worktops which is pretty nasty. The range of colours however is very impressive and the ability for mixing seems to make up for its hindrances. The US produced a similar product called Sculpey I think it is called which has similar properties but takes less time in the oven however I think it's harder to get such a good range of colours from that make so I stick mainly to FIMO when available.
There are also a few books available from amazon and I am sure ebay.co.uk which offer a wide range of ideas for what to do with FIMO and Sculpey, so if you're planning a project for a group f kids or a class with this material then maybe it would be a good idea to research one of these books for optimum use of the material.
Swelling in my tonsils is finally going down feeling a great deal better and hope to be back in class by Monday(: Thanks for reading.
WHAT IS FIMO?
Fimo is a brand of polymer clay made by Eberhard Faber. German dollmaker Kathe Kruse created the compound in the late 1030's after she realised that plastic was scarce after the war. As the FIMO was unsuitable for her dolls she gave it to her daughter Maureen Kruse. Maureen's nickname was Fifi and the clay was known as FIfi's Modelling clay. The modelling clay was later sold to Eberhard Faber and is now known as FIMO.
Fimo comes in many colours and is sold in small 5cm square cubes. Fimo is great for children to play with. I remember having several blocks of Fimo for a Christmas present I made many small broaches and gifts for my family and friends. Fimo is similar to playdough and plasticine but it has special properties which make it hard.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The polymer clay (FIMO) is very special as when baked in an oven at 130°C for 30 minutes the clay hardens. This is obviously a great advantage as it allows children and adults alike to keep their efforts for life. I used Fimo with my brownies as I felt it was a shame that they could not keep their work, especially when they have worked so hard to produce something. I find that with normal dough and plasticine it often this gets rolled back into a ball and is put back in a tub. I wrote a review a week ago about an animation program for the computer and I have in the past used Fimo instead of plasticine and modelling dough as unlike these Fimo will not become dry and unmanageable. Models are therefore easier to make and are more robust than models made from clay, plasticine or dough.
Fimo is already coloured and is easy to use meaning that any artwork can be cooked and kept. The polymer clay is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). When the clay is heated the particles form strong bonds and merge together to create a durable hard substance.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
I have made many things with my FIMO clay in the past. My best make was a key-ring I made for my dad. It was a bright key-ring with dad modelled in the middle. I made a flower one for my mum. They last a very long time and are durable. I managed to get hold of some key-ring rings and made lots of these, all of different shapes and sizes.
I made a door sign for my bedroom door, I modelled my name with clay and the sign lasted for many years I lost it when the door was repainted. I have made small models such as goldfish, butterflies and dogs. The final quality of these items are quite high and they look professional. Whilst working with a charity planning a stall at a local fete we decided it would be a great idea to make many little models and sell them for £1. We also made jewellery and sold earrings for £1, necklaces for £2 and rings for £1. People bought the items and we made over £200 from 10 block of clay and some jewellery findings.
Whilst searching for wedding items online I have also spotted cake toppers, favours and wine charms made from Fimo. Craftspeople who can make items with Fimo stand a chance of making a nice bit of pocket money. I have made butterfly wine charms for my wedding with Fimo and they do look quite professional. If I did need some extra money I would consider making wine charms, jewellery and ornaments for a hobby.
I have also made a variety of jewellery items such as ear-rings, bracelets, necklaces and rings. These are very easy to make and look quite stylish. You can buy broach pins and magnets to make badges and magnets. They all look very good and make excellent gifts for grandparents and loved ones.
FIMO can be mixed together to produce different shades and colours. You can also create marble effects with the clay. I use Fimo with my students to create models for animation. I use this as opposed to normal clay due to the consistency of the polymer clay (Fimo).
The FIMO can be painted with special paint to make the models more detailed. The website
has many great craft ideas and products to help with any creations. I think it goes to show that Fimo is not only suitable for young children, but adults get as much joy out of it as well.
HOW EASY IS IT TO USE?
I find the clay very difficult at first to mould. The clay starts to soften at a temperature between 30°C and 50°C so handling it with warm hands will help make the clay more malleable. The clay is marketed as being 'soft' but it definitely is not soft. I sometimes warm it up over steam in a bowl, then unwrap the packaging. The clay is soon malleable enough to mould into shapes. There are many types of clay and the 'classic' Fimo is a lot harder than the 'soft' clay. The Fimo 'effect' does exactly what it says on the packet and offers a special effect e.g. glitter, glow in the dark, marbled, fluorescent etc. There are many other types such as liquid Fimo (this is a liquid gel that will enable you to transfer a photo, picture or text onto a model. You can also used this to connect baked or unbaked clay) and Puppen Fimo (for detailed sculpting such as dolls, this clay has a fleshy colour).
WHERE CAN I BUY IT?
You can buy FIMO in most craft shops such as Ham and Sewell for about £1.29, I buy mine in a local craft store for only 99p. The colours are so varied ranging from glow in the dark, glitter, florescent and multicoloured. The 5cm square packets are packaged well to maintain the moisture. They are labelled with a number my blue packet has the number 374 and my yellow packet has the number 16. On some website they give step by step instructions using colour codes. The codes make it a lot easier to but the products. If you don't have any craft shops nearby finding FIMO is quite difficult, but you can always buy it from online craft shops.
Overall this is a great product to use with children. I enjoy using it myself and will continue to use it in the future. I can't wait to have children so that one day we can make items together. The items I have made in the past for charity, the wedding and for family or friends have been fun to make and I have been proud that I could make an item that a family member can keep and enjoy for years to come. The clay is so durable a model I made for my nan when I was 7 (16 years ago) is still sat on her mantelpiece and despite being played with by younger cousins it still looks as good as it did the day if left the oven. There is so much you can do with this clay and it's not too expensive. I would definitely recommend this product.
I'm a bit of a kid at heart, and there is nothing I love more than playing with art & craft materials. Fimo is one of my favourites, and is also a bit more 'adult' than bringing out the play doh....
So, what exactly is fimo?
Fimo is a brand of modelling clay made by the German company Eberhard Faber. I personally buy it in small coloured blocks, but you can also buy in larger neutral colour packs if you prefer to model dolls and so on.
A standard size block weighs 56g and comes in a 5.5 x 5.5cm square pack. I buy mine for £1.65 a block from Clarkes Stationers. Fimo is available in five different varieties, these include:
Fimo Classic - This was the first variety of fimo on the market, and comes in 24 different basic colours
Fimo Soft - This is what I tend to buy, it is a bit softer than fimo classic, and it is possible to blend different colours of fimo soft to create new colours. Fimo soft is also available in 24 different colours, these tend to be a bit brighter than you find fimo classic in.
Fimo Effect - This line runs in additon to fimo soft and classic, and features fimo with a little twist. Fimo effect comes in five different varieties, and colours include those which contain glitter, go translucent when cooked, and some are metallic. There is also a 'nightglow' colour which is fluorescent, and 'stone' effect colours.
Fimo Liquid - This deco gel is basically a liquid version of fimo. It is transparent and very flexible. It is also possible to colour the liquid by adding oil or power paints. I have also added food dye to this successfully. This is particularly good for things where you need a runny finish, for example, if you make a sundae out of fimo, you could colour a little bit of this and let it run over the top to be the 'sauce'.
Puppen Fimo - This fimo is available in four types of different flesh type colours. It is sold in much larger 500g blocks, and has been manufactured specifically for modelling dolls and figurines.
If you would like a greater selection of colours, it is also possible to buy fimo in kits which contain 25g half blocks. You can choose a set of 10 colours, or go for the full 24 if you'd like a bit of every colour. Aletrnatively, fimo offer a basic set which contains 9 25g half blocks, 1 bottle of gloss varnish, 1 modelling tool, and 1 work pad.
Other smaller sets which contain everything you will need to make the specific project include starter sets (called fits for kids, though this would be an equally good place to begin for an adult with no modelling experience), jewellery sets more specifically for adults, animal sets for kids, and jewellery sets for girls.
You can use various different modelling tools with fimo, or equally you can just use your hands. I personally only use a small craft knife to cut bits off when I need them. As I have already mentioned fimo is great fun to use and ideal to entertain kids, however if you are a bit more serious about your masterpiece you need to be careful that you are working in a clean area as this stuff attracts fluff very easily. This isn't great when you are working with white or other light colours.
Also, again if you are particularly serious about your sculpture, when changing colours it is advisable to wash your hands (and make sure that you do it properly). I find that if I don't do this I will find bits of the previous colour in whatever I'm working on. This can lead to you spending ages in the bathroom and eventually having quite dry hands if you're anything like me, particualrly if you are using a wide variety of colours. If you have had your fimo for along time it might be slightly hard and more of a challenge to shape, however Eberhard Faber does sell a fimo softener which is perfect to use in these cases.
If you are a bit artistically challenged a range of fimo (and sculpey, a similar rival product) moulds are available. Both ranges have a large selection of flexible push moulds in a range of styles. Themes include flowers, animals, and so on. You quite simply push the fimo into the mould, push it out, and hey presto, you have a perfectly formed flower/whatever. Then you just need to stick it in the oven.
Once you've finished creating your work of art you simply place it on a baking tray (I always put some foil on the tray first) and 'cook' it for 30 minutes at 110 degrees c, or 230 farenheight. When you take it out of the oven it will be warm and slightly plyable, but one it has cooled down it will be completely solid. If you so desire it is possible to bake jewellery findings (such as head and eye pins) into your fimo. I've done this before and had no problems. It is also possible to paint fimo once it has cooled, acrylic paint is best for this in my experience.
When all baking and painting has been completed it is possible to coat the object in a layer of gloss. Glosses are available from various manufacturers in satin and high gloss finishes. Personally I prefer sculpey gloss as it dries considerably faster than fimo gloss. There are lots of jewellery findings for sale, and you can even make a snow globe using fimo products.
To go off on a bit of a tangent, I did read in the Guardian last year that play doh is actually a really good present to give children as not only is it fun to play with, but apparently it also aids their development somehow. Being quite a similar product, I imagine this is true of fimo too.
You can find some hints and tips here:
All things considered, I think fimo is a great 'toy' for adults and children alike, and will keep you entertained for hours. It's possible to make almost anything from this stuff, and some people can make some real masterpieces from it. One person particualrly sticks in my head, but I won't post a link here in case it isn't allowed.
Being a family who are extremely interested in arts and crafts my kids and I are always looking for new products and techniques to experiment with. We are never happy sticking to the one type of craft and much prefer to have a go at everything and anything.
Our latest find and, to date our favourite, is FIMO modelling clay. FIMO is so simple and easy to use with an array of possibilities.
FIMO has a look and texture similar to plasticine, but once it has been moulded into your desired shape you bake it in the oven at a temperature of 130°C for approximately 30 minutes, after which time it turns hard. Simple and very, very effective!
FIMO can by bought in the classic version or the soft version. I personally prefer the FIMO soft as it is much easier to work with being much more pliable. The FIMO classic can be a bit hard and crumbly at times often making it very difficult to shape into anything at all. The most common size of block is the 56g block. FIMO can also be bought in half blocks of 28g or larger blocks of 350g. Prices start at around £1.29 for the 56g block. There are many, many different colours to choose from with many different shades of each colour. You can also buy FIMO with different effects, there is a metallic effect, giving the finished product a bit of a shine, a glitter effect, which I love for the festive season, a translucent effect, which when hard has a see through look to it and there is also even a nightglow fluorescent effect to choose from so you can glow in the dark! You can also buy FIMO in a stone effect, which has an effect a bit similar to granite.
If you do happen to come across some FIMO that has gone a bit hard or has lost its modelling appeal then you can add some FIMO Mix Quick, which can be added to hard FIMO to help restore its flexibility.
To help with the modelling process you can choose from a range of modelling tools, which include cutting tools, shape cutters and push moulds.
FIMO is great for letting your imagination run wild. To date we have produced earrings, beads, buttons, which always receive many positive comments, bright, colourful, original buttons made to compliment any outfit. We have moulded sculptures to attach to corks to produce bottle stoppers. Coasters, wall hangings, little figures, card embellishments, the list is endless. My latest project and the one I am most proud of is my glasses and vases. I make canes from FIMO, a bit similar to the way in which rock or candy canes are made, I then cut the canes into slices and cover wine glasses, champagne flutes, tealight holders and vases with the slices. When making my canes I have made flowers, faces, suns, checked designs, zig zag designs and spiral designs. It takes a long time to produce these beautiful glasses but I truly love doing this and am always very proud of the end product.
When you have baked your FIMO creation I have found it best to give it a quick coat of varnish, this just helps to give it a bit of protection and a finishing touch. You can buy varnish specifically for FIMO or I tend to buy a pot of varnish from my local DIY, the FIMO varnish only comes in small bottles and doesn't last long enough for me.
FIMO is simple and easy to use for all ages. All that is needed is a bit of time, perhaps a rainy day, a little patience and a little imagination. For those of you with a lack of imagination and perhaps for the younger ones a great way of starting out with FIMO is to purchase one of their starter kits. These kits come ready with everything you need to make a specific item. For example you can buy a jewellery set, which comes complete with FIMO, push moulds, rings, brooch pins, cord and full instructions on how to make yourself some stunning jewellery. You can also choose from many "Kits for Kids" which include simple to follow instructions on how to take the FIMO supplied and create the stunning sculptures photographed brightly on the packet, these sculptures include teddy bears, bees, ladybirds, giraffes, dragons and many more creatures loved by children.
FIMO is produced in Germany by a company called Eberhard Faber.